• Other Friendship Advice

A teen feels she is being dropped by a group of friends

Published: January 3, 2014 | Last Updated: December 7, 2014 By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
She’s been blocked on social media and excluded from invitations.  She asks what to do when you feel you’re being dropped by a group of friends.



Recently my friendship group has changed a lot and I feel like I’m being dropped by a group of friends. New people have come into it; one of my closest friends left because she felt excluded from the group and I’m beginning to feel the same way.

We’re all around 15 years old and this might sound like a stupid teenage argument, but it’s really hard to try and hold this new-and-not-so-improved group together.

I suffer from anxiety which makes it a little bit harder to personally stand up to people in the group that are causing me to feel this way so I wanted some advice before I start an argument. People in the group whom I thought were my best friends have blocked me on social media sites. Not only have they blocked me online, they’ve started to cut me out of real life. I’m not invited to parties or to their houses any more and I’m beginning to question if I’m even considered their friend.

I still love most of them to bits, but if they don’t want me there should I stick around or move on like some of the others have?

Signed, Carrie


Hi Carrie,

I’m glad you wrote. I’m also impressed that you wrote for advice before problems get worse. Your friendship difficulties sound very stressful and anxiety provoking, and even if you didn’t have anxiety issues, I bet most girls would feel the same angst in your situation.

Friendship can be tricky, especially during your teenage years. Groups are often hard, especially in middle and high school: Friends one day, not the next. She said/she said. Social media has complicated what was always difficult.

The larger the group, the more problems potentially—not just for teens, but also for adults. You probably have subgroups within the group and alliances, even if you’re not aware of this dynamic. In any group some people will be closer than others; you’ll like some girls more than others; others you will tolerate for the sake of the group; and some you might never be friendly with if not for the group.

Teenagers are still learning how to assertively interact with others. Communication is a learned skill that gets fine-tuned over the whole lifespan. Healthy communication takes practice, especially when friends and families aren’t the best role models. Nobody gets it right all the time and nobody is perfect at it, because different people can respond differently to the same comments.

In your situation you can say something like:

“I feel hurt and confused when I’m blocked on Facebook and I don’t know why. If I do something that bothers you, I’d really like to know when it happens.”

That type statement is effective because you’re talking about your own feelings and experiences without blaming the other person.  When people feel blamed, they often react defensively, take words differently than intended, and shut their ears. The statement is also good because it says exactly what’s upsetting you.

You deserve to have friends who treat you kindly and with respect, even when disagreeing. In many ways, we teach others how to treat us by what we will and won’t tolerate. Sometimes when people don’t feel good about themselves they allow others to mistreat them. This holds true no matter what the age.

When one friend cares about another much more than the other, it’s also common for an imbalance to occur. Unequal relationships usually don’t last very long. If you notice yourself caring more about a friend than she cares about you, that’s a good sign taking a step back and focus more on other friends. You deserve friends who care about you as much as you care about them.

Take a step back from the chaos in your situation and think about a few things:

  • What is appealing to you your group when some members aren’t treating you like a friend?
  • What are you willing and not willing to tolerate when evaluating what you want from friends and why?
  • What about the group in its current form draws you in (not how it was or how you want it to be)?
  • How can you most effectively communicate your feelings and thoughts to your friends?
  • How is the group raising you up or keeping you down?

Groups are always changing, because people always change. The teen years great emotional growth, so it makes sense that groups would shift. At any age, friends can grow apart due to different interests or activities and they can change.  Change can’t be stopped and groups can’t be forced, everyone has to be willing. When a rift occurs for two group members, it affects and can derail the whole group. Some people do better and feel more comfortable with one-to-one friendships.

To summarize:

-Friendship is hard. Groups are harder.

-Everyone feels out of place sometimes, even if they look confident.

-Good communication helps.

-Set high standards for yourself.

-Not everyone is a group person.

-Equal friendships are the healthiest.

You’re in a different group than you were. Blocking you is unkind. Not inviting you to parties with other group members is unkind. Only you can decide if these girls are your friends.

Signed, *Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: Child and adolescent friendships

Comments (3)

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  1. tanja says:

    In Other words, the main message is to not be friends with them. Friends don’t do that to one another. I know from experience that things change and your friendships will change as well. Some of those same friends in high school, you may feel closer to in adulthood because your lives meet along the same lines with marriage and kids etc. I have one friend from high school, in high school we were not very close. Years later, we had kids around the same ages and we were both stay at home moms, living relatively close. We got together once a week and were closer. Now, she has 4 kids, I have 2 and our kids, both 6 and 7 now, do not really get along any more and her oldest who is 8 always complains about my son and has difficulty being tolerant and my son is 6. So, the friendship is not working out anymore. No point in getting together if kids don’t get along. But, we don’t close each other off because things may change again. I have another friend whom I was very close to in high school, but she was often mean to me and excluded me as well. Well we also have kids around the same ages and so we got together often while she was on mat leave. We got together a lot with our first and second pregnancies, kids are same age. But, over time, I really don’t like her kids, they tend to be exclusive and remind me of the way their mother was to me in high school, so I decided not to get together with her anymore. I did not say anything to her, I just have not contacted her and left her last message lingering in the air. If I feel like getting back to her at a later date, I can use the excuse, i was very busy. But, I am not sure yet.

    Trust me when I say, one of my biggest regrets and something I do not want to teach my kids is that I OFTEN wasted time with people that mistreated me and did not deserve my time. Because, it took me some time to say this but I AM A GOOS FRIEND to people, I AM KIND AND CARING AND WILL RUSH OUT TO BE THERE FOR FRIENDS IF THEY NEED ME OR LEND FRIENDS THINGS ETC. ANYONE WOULD BE LUCKY TO HAVE ME AS A FRIEND BUT AND THIS IS A BIG BUT. IF THEY DO NOT SEE IT, IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE THEIR FRIEND AND BE ALONE A BIT BEFORE NEW PEOPLE WILL COME ALONG! Good luck.

  2. Mrs. Chen says:

    Hi Carrie,
    I advise you to leave the group right away. Always remember that the #1 reason to go to school is to get an education. This situation is anxiety inducing for anyone, not to mention someone who already suffers from anxiety. Don’t let it affect your studies and your future.

    I don’t disagree with Amy, but if you do decide to talk to these girls, you need to be prepared for BIG drama. No matter how calm you try to be, it’ll turn into a big deal simply because you all are teen girls, and teen girls are super-emotional and dramatic. So I am against you doing so because it’ll inevitably cause you more anxiety.

    I think you should just drift away from this group. Start hanging out with your friends who are not part of this group. No drama, no big deal. It will take a while for the group to realize that you have left them. And at some point, some girls in the group will seek you out and ask you why you no longer hang out with them. This will be your indication of who in the group cares about you. Try not to badmouth the group, simply say that it got to be too much drama for you. If you want, you can start a relationship with these girls, AWAY from the group.

  3. Leeanne says:

    The advice you got above was answered perfectly. The only thing I wanted to add is that there is no one on here who thinks this is “a stupid teenage argument”. Teen friendships can be some of the most emotionally intense and with limited life experience can feel even more intense than adult friendships. We’re all pulling for you and no matter how bad it gets, things will get better. So sorry you’re going through this.

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